They always say find the silver lining. We found ours during the Pandemic. Our very own Spicy Lining. As a couple, we love to travel and eat. Our love language revolves around food. We enjoy a country’s culture through their cuisine. While working in Singapore, my husband Froilan, was introduced to Szechuan Spicy Stir Fry Ma La. It was love at first taste. Apparently, he fell in love with Spicy Stir Fry Ma La faster than he fell for me. Then when I first visited him, he shared his love affair with this hot dish with me. I fell hard. It was an explosion of flavors. A party in the mouth – on crack. From then on, I was hooked.
Life kept us busy. Pulling at us while we lived in different countries. Instead of drifting apart, we pushed to be together as much as possible. This had me flying to Singapore every other month, birthdays and holidays. We grew closer with every visit and most of our greatest memories involved a hot bowl of Stir Fry Ma La. Safe to say, our love story had a lot of spice. We wanted to share our discovery with friends and family in the Philippines but it was difficult to find any restaurant that specializes in Szechuan Stir Fry Ma La. This gave us an idea. Froilan studied and researched how to create the perfect Spicy Stir Fry Ma La with a Pinoy twist. He ate in different hawker stalls, restaurants and was (still is) a mainstay at Chinatown. But again, work kept us both busy, so this was just an idea we were toying with.
Fast forward to 2020. We were newly married in February and our dear family and friends from abroad barely made it out when the first ever lockdown happened in March. Froilan was locked down here in Manila and was not able to fly back to Singapore for work. This was when we decided to finally try our home based Stir Fry Ma La business. Froilan was already confident about his secret Ma La Oil and satisfied with the reaction of friends and family that had tried and was convinced (by the nagging wife) to take the leap.
The Villamaria Kitchen was born. What could’ve been a setback gave us this amazing opportunity to finally open something of our own. Now, my husband’s passion for food has turned us into a small start up and it’s been a rollercoaster ride. I retired from the corporate world to focus on building our brand and business. Join our journey. Let’s find the Silver, in our case, Spicy Lining together.